Choosing the Right Eyeshadow for You

by April Reinhardt
(last updated February 21, 2009)

While some people state that you should match the color of eyeshadow to the clothing you're wearing that day, I would argue that you should first match your eyeshadow with your skin color and tone, eye coloring, and hair coloring. After you've mastered the color palette, then you can dabble in matching eyeshadows with your clothing, from within the proper color palette. For instance, I have blue eyes, fair skin, and light brown hair with blonde highlights. Suppose I choose to wear my teal blue blouse with chocolate trousers and matching jacket. Would I wear blue eyeshadow? Never! Although my blouse is blue, I cannot pull off wearing blue eyeshadow, since it doesn't compliment my skin tone, eye color, or hair color. Instead, I should choose eyeshadows from a coppery brown color palette, since they will compliment me—and my wardrobe for the day—best.

So, how do you know what color eyeshadow is best for you? Choosing the right eyeshadow isn't complicated, but first you need to determine your skin color, and then your skin tone. The skin color is easy; you're either fair-, light-, medium-, or dark-skinned. To find your skin tone, go to a department store, grocery store, or pharmacy that sells cosmetics. In that isle you will find a skin tone chart. The chart is clear except for dots of colors in varying hues. Place the chart at the inside of your arm, between your wrist and elbow fold. The hue dot that disappears against your skin determines your skin tone. You should fall into one of these categories: warm, cool, or neutral. Now that you know your skin color and tone, use these tips for choosing the right eyeshadow for you:

  • Warm colors: red, orange, brown, tan, copper, gold, yellow, et cetera. Think of daytime and the natural colors associated with summer and fall.
  • Cool colors: blue, green, purple, plum, violet, gray, et cetera. Think of nighttime and the natural colors associated with winter and spring.
  • Neutrals: black and white.

Choose eyeshadow colors that compliment your coloring by selecting an opposite. For instance, a fair-skinned, cool-toned, blue-eyed woman could choose a tawny brown or coppery eyeshadow palette. Conversely, a dark-skinned, warm-toned, brown-eyed woman should choose plums to compliment her eyes. Here are some more tips for choosing eyeshadow colors:

  • Brown eyes: warm colors, cool colors, and neutrals.
  • Green eyes: all cool colors, and some warm colors, and neutrals.
  • Blue or hazel eyes: all cool colors, and some warm colors, and neutrals.
  • Gray eyes: all cool colors and neutrals.

Try out several different combinations and find out what looks best on you. You can oftentimes buy trial versions of colors or, better yet, have a cosmetologist in a high-end department store give you a makeover, and see for yourself the color palette that looks best on you.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...


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